today was the naturopathy clinic’s first day this season and we started in carrefour
it began really difficult but it became a wonderful thing for me and i’m learning and i think i will get good
literature and medicine
driving through bel air this morning we saw a funeral
mass of flowers on the battered hearse
here people wear white to a funeral
life and death are very very close
it feels close inside me not in a bad way
look i get claustrophobic and need my space just as much as the next man
but it is good to be close to people, in fellowship with them, even the dead
especially and in particular if you love them
anyone can learn a few skills not to get vampirized
(here vampires are called lougarou)
i am surprised at how well i think it went today
i am surprised that at the end of the day i am not crushed by futility
there was a great deal of real sorrow especially in three children i worked with
one of them i sent to dokte coffee’s tb clinic and i pray he goes
the people who are still living in camps have it fucking awful
and everything every kind of sickness i saw today is a product of structural violence and oppression and everything was and is absolutely preventible
i am not a doctor neither am i a naturopath
i am not pretending to be a doctor or a naturopath
literature and medicine
the strobing caduceus
all the same i have had some experience with the clinical gaze, my parents being doctors and my brother having spent a lot of time much too much in mental hospitals
and i will tell you one thing
i refuse to use that condescending, prophylactic clinical gaze that acts like a condom over the doctor against all the sickness of the hospital
and maybe doing this here is a way of cleansing my family of the clinical gaze that has been trained on it
a cousin of which is the gaze of prison guards, really very similar to that of doctors and nurses and orderlies, just more open with its hostility
the gaze of cops
it was a good day
i have had the fortune to discover what it feels like to do a kind of medicine i respect in a population of genuine need in the country that’s gripped my heart by the root
i’m going to try to write this effortlessly
(ha, i am going to try to write effortlessly, yep)
here, would you like to look out the window with me?
Yesterday i saw a book called HAITI N’EXISTE PAS: 1804-2004 DEUX CENT ANS DE SOLITUDE
Haiti Does Not Exist. Two Hundred Years of Solitude.
Ok. Now I am writing in a different feeling, slapping mosquitos off my legs.
There are things that can remain hidden in a world, after all, as anyone knows. Hidden in a body. Hidden in a mind.
Buried in my heart, to borrow a phrase from someone I have loved.
Two Hundred Years of Solitude sounds like the title of something that could be a novel even more magical and even more real than anything Marquez ever wrote, but the thing above is a history book, but I do like how it sounds like a dare, how it is confrontational, how it squeezes my heart and forces me to want it.
I like things that dare me, I like things that make me, I like to be confronted. It helps.
Very very passionate people have always come here.
This land and everything on it and in it is the substance of radical encounter. Which, too, always traumatizes.
If a tree falls in a forest and nobody’s there to hear it, does it make a sound?
And suppose you are a country so advanced that you outlawed race privilege sixty years before the United States even abolished slavery, saying nothing of Jim Crow and everything else that followed, and the world turned its back on you for that?
What if you took Enlightened ideas so seriously, so literally, to the very letter, down to the very marrow, that you left race behind, or tried to, long long long before the rest of the world would ever wake up to the idea that there is more to life than skin?
It seems to me that the earthquake was a way of shaking the world for which Haiti has not existed or been allowed to exist and has nevertheless existed since winning its independence and before.
But in this deeper way too it was a way the planet shook to say its souls and its soul are not merely terrestrial, which is to say are not merely the substance of appearances, and neither are we, neither are any of us.
I don’t know exactly why I am saying this now, writing so dramatically. I just swallowed some tincture of Sweet Annie. The Delco is humming. I have a peaceful feeling.
Action is important in the kingdom of this world. Not busy-ness, but finding out what to do and then doing that. With your body. There will always be people to hate you for doing what you want. I am not talking about doing what you want like stepping on people, taking from them and not caring or hurting them on purpose. I mean there might always be someone to hate you for doing what you want. But that person should find what he truly wants and do that with his body and if he could he wouldn’t hate you anymore.